Summary: The answer to life’s meaning is not within us; it can be found only in a relationship with God. This sermon parallels & compliments Rick Warren’s "Purpose Driven Life" (ch.1-7) but is not a rehash. It takes the theme and looks at it from a different an
It’s About God
1. “It’s not about you. The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or evne your happiness.” Rick Warren
2. Yet, at the same time, there is no life more fulfilling or deeper than a God-centered life.
3. Life with purpose is a rich life; purposeless life is just marking time.
4. Ralph Barton, one of the top cartoonists of the nations, left this note pinned to his pillow before taking his own life: "I have had few difficulties, many friends, great successes; I have gone from wife to wife, from house to house, visited great countries of the world, but I am fed up with inventing devices to fill up twenty-four hours of the day."
Morning Glory, May 29, 1993.
Main idea: The answer to life’s meaning is not within us; it can be found only in a relationship with God
I. God’s Plan for Us: To GLORIFY HIM
1. He is SOVEREIGN over all
Job 12:10 “In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”
2. We exist for HIS glory
Colossians 1:16-18 passim, "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible… so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
3. ALL creation exists to glorify God
Revelation 4:11, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
Romans 11:36, “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.”
4. Living life itself can GLORIFY God
I Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
• I define my terms differently than Rick Warren for the sake of clarity: worship is a sub-category of glorifying God, which is a broader category
• By enjoying the wholesome pleasures and blessings of life and appreciating their source, I can glorify God, whether that be eating, drinking, giving my wife a kiss, or laughing at clean comedy…
• Therefore, the balanced life, if lived to God’s glory, glorifies God in many ways
The answer to life’s meaning is not within us; it can be found only in a relationship with God
II. Our Plan: To Find Meaning Apart from God
1. In EDEN, we chose our own way
2. We are born SIN and SELF driven
(1) sin DISTRACTS and consoles us
(2) we are out to glorify OURSELVES
3. This is the human DEFAULT setting
How strong is that default setting?
In 1979, a study was done among teenagers in Sweden, who were asked to respond to the statement, "I think the following could give my life more meaning..." Of those surveyed, eighty-seven percent thought that meaning could be found in a good job, eighty-five percent thought it could be found in a marriage partner, and eighty-four percent thought it could be found in sports and recreation. Only fifteen percent thought that reading the Bible and prayer could help, and another fifteen percent indicated that they thought alcohol could help.
About eight percent considered the question of the meaning of life important, yet eighty percent considered it unimportant whether Jesus existed as a man on earth or not. Also, eighty-five percent considered it unimportant whether Jesus is the Son of God or not. A full seventy-five percent concluded that the question of God’s existence is unimportant.
Jim Peterson, Living Proof, NavPress, 1989, pp. 35.
4. Until this “default setting” is overcome by God’s power, we will continue to wallow in distraction and meaninglessness…
5. So we try to find meaning by comparing ourselves to others:
Mrs. Moskowitz was trying to describe to the interior decorator exactly how
she wanted her house done.
She said, "I leave the art and design entirely to you. I ask only that whatever you do, it be spectacular. I want it done in such a way that when my dear best friend, Mrs. Finkelstein, should come in for the first time, she should instantly have a stroke with jealousy and drop dead."
6. We buy expensive things that make statements or in some other way try to assert our worth; but it’s all a silly game because we will all die and be forgotten.
III. Life’s MEANING Through the Eternal God
1. GOD transcends time
• Paul tells us that if there is no resurrection from the dead, we are of all men most miserable….
• The older one gets, the more one appreciates this reality
• If life is to have significant meaning, 70 years is not enough…nor is 170